OVHS Team ‘Westminster Shabbey’ Named 2012 National SeaPerch Challenge Champs
On Wednesday, April 11, while most of the Spencer Evening World readership sipped their coffee at home or made their way to work or school, a group of Owen Valley High School students and their coaches boarded an airplane, bound for Manassas, Virginia and the second annual National SeaPerch Challenge.
The OVHS contingent featured two teams, ‘Westminster Shabbey,’ a three-member group made up of Gabe Lacy, Mitchell Price and Lucas Bird, and ‘S.M.O.Q.’ a four-member group featuring juniors Tim Hickam, Shawn Cantrell, Joseph Bevers and Chad St. John. Several other SeaPerch team members and their coaches, Mark Schmitter and Tina Hayden, also made the trip.
Both OVHS teams competed at a high level and brought home trophies, but it was ‘Westminster Shabbey’ earning the title of 2012 National SeaPerch Challenge overall champions. The group placed second in the lift bag competition, second in presentation, and third on the obstacle course. Lacy, Price and Bird actually tied for first in points with Bloomington South’s ‘King Hong’ team for the high school overall title, but that was awarded to Bloomington South due to their first place finish in both presentation and the obstacle course.
OV’s S.M.O.Q. team members, Hickam, Cantrell, Bevers and St. John, placed second on the obstacle course with a time of 46.3 seconds, just 3.7 seconds behind Bloomington South. S.M.O.Q. finished eighth overall in the high school overall competition and 18th in the overall combined competition.
The entire event was able to be viewed via a live Web stream on the day of competition, Thursday, April 12.
According to Price, the event wasn’t without its hectic moments.
“One of our shafts fell off the first time we went to compete in lift bag competition,” Price said. “We were able to fix that in 15 minutes. If something breaks, you are allowed 15. So we actually had a shaft fall off, render- ing us mostly inoperable, but we were able to fix it very quickly.”
“We actually had to cut down our power because we weren’t used to driving that quickly, it drove too fast and we weren’t ready for it,” Hickam said. “We didn’t really meet our expectations. We had a malfunction. As soon as we opened up the box in the hotel, our left switch wasn’t working and we had to replace that at 11 o’clock at night the day before the competition. We had to get up at 7 o’clock in the morning to compete. We actually had to replace our switch with two buttons.”
It wasn’t all work and no play for the OVHS SeaPerch members, though, as they were able to go sightseeing during their visit. They were able to see and experience the National Mall, the Smithsonian, the Washington Monument, the White House, the Air & Space Museum, the Natural History Museum and a fighter jet flight simulator.
During a trophy presentation ceremony held at Owen Valley High School on Thursday morning, the group, led by coach and teacher Tina Hayden, thanked everyone who donated to the program or helped in any way.
The SeaPerch team announced a special thanks to the S-OCS administration, Mr. Greg Linton, Mrs. Rhonda Schafer and the OVHS teachers for allowing the students to miss three days of school. A special thank you also went out to Linda St. John, Nick Schmitter and Jennifer Schmitter for their help and guidance; to the Owen County Family YMCA for the use of its pool; Bloomington Robotics Club, Cook Group and Boston Scientific, the Owen County Community Foundation, Papa John’s, Spencer Exchange Club and the six S-OCS school buildings and their faculty and staff for participating in ‘Jeans Week’ to raise money. Appreciation was also extended to those teachers who made monetary donations and all those who purchased candy bars during the fundraisers.
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